In 2021, the Estonian Patent Office had the Patent Department, the Trade Mark Department, the Registry Department and the Financial and Administrative Department. The Industrial Property Board of Appeal also operates under the office.
The protection of industrial property is an inseparable part of the constitutional legal order. Industrial property is protected under § 32 of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia, providing that the property of every person is inviolable and equally protected.
The protection of industrial designs can be applied for on the grounds of the Industrial Designs Protection Act. An application or registration system is applied for the registration of industrial designs.
It is possible to apply for the protection of trade marks under the Trade Marks Act and the EU legal acts concerning trade marks are also valid here. Trade mark registration applications can be filed online via the portal of electronic filing.
According to the Geographical Indication Protection Act, the registration of a geographical indication is subject to the application or registration system. It is distinguished from other intellectual property rights by the lack of a specific owner and the indefinite duration of protection.
The Board of Appeals is an independent pre-trial institution that solves appeals filed to contest the decisions made by the Estonian Patent Office in cases prescribed in the legal acts: complaints concerning the decision, registration procedure, refusal or delay of the registration procedure.
The Estonian Patent Office regularly organizes events in order to raise the intellectual property awareness of different target groups. In 2021, people were most interested in trade mark protection, but there has also been a significant increase in interest in information events on inventions.
It is possible to use numerous e-services of the Estonian Patent Office through the website (www.epa.ee), including filling out and sending new applications for registration of industrial property rights and using the electronic search databases.